What are the benefits of diagnosis?

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chicbuc
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28 Jan 2009, 10:57 am

My 17 yo son has AS beyond a reasonable doubt. I just realized it a couple of years ago upon doing some research. He has not been diagnosed. He functions ok in every day life, gets good grades, but he has no friends...literally.

How would a diagnosis benefit him?



j0sh
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28 Jan 2009, 11:00 am

chicbuc wrote:
My 17 yo son has AS beyond a reasonable doubt. I just realized it a couple of years ago upon doing some research. He has not been diagnosed. He functions ok in every day life, gets good grades, but he has no friends...literally.

How would a diagnosis benefit him?


He may not feel as guilty about his social problems if he knows there is a reason that isn't his fault. He also may be able to cope with his issue better by knowing what he's up against. An official diagnoses is worth getting.



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28 Jan 2009, 11:22 am

One of the main reasons I recommend diagnosis is to rule out other things. Autism spectrum disorders have a lot of traits that overlap with Schizophrenia, and you wouldn't want to leave something like that untreated.

Unfortunately diagnosis at 17 is less useful than at earlier ages, because at this point he won't be able to receive the therapies that are available to younger children (occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, social skills classes, ect). But perhaps with a psychologist skilled in identifying the needs of a young adult with an autism spectrum disorders, he could receive some additional help that would benefit him.



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28 Jan 2009, 2:34 pm

Mage makes a good point about Schizophrenia. There are several things that get confused with Aspergers that have overlapping symptoms. Or a person can have multiple conditions. IF he had something like Schizophrenia that disorder tends to really surface in teens and young adults so if he was suffering from something like that it would be good to know in case medication was needed.

Also having a diagnosis can help him in college to be allowed more time to take a test or test in a separate room for instance. For example I was a really good student until I got into college and I did poorly. If I had known about Aspergers then, well actually it wasn't in the DSM yet, but I would have done better being given some accomodations.

Also if he can't make it in the real world which many Aspies can't then you need a diagnosis in place NOW in case he needed to apply for SSI as an adult.

Plus his family needs to know what is going on with him because Aspergers diagnosis can explain a lot of communication and misunderstanding problems between him and family.



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28 Jan 2009, 3:41 pm

Unless he is in dire need of services that require an official diagnosis, then I would recommend an unofficial diagnosis. When one receives an official diagnosis of Asperger's or autism, many doors will be closed to your son. People who admit to having Asperger's or autism are barred from joining the military and also may face discrimination when it comes to other employment.


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mysterious_misfit
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30 Jan 2009, 1:27 am

cyberscan wrote:
When one receives an official diagnosis of Asperger's or autism, many doors will be closed to your son. People who admit to having Asperger's or autism are barred from joining the military


Why?



cyberscan
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30 Jan 2009, 1:40 am

People with Aspergers, classic autism, or any other neurological condition are considered unfit for military service. Why that is I can only guess. I think it is because there would have to be accomodations that can not be made in the event of war.


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matrixluver
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30 Jan 2009, 8:28 pm

I am not diagnosed but simply knowing myself that it's likely, it helps me find techniques to cope. I'm an autism consultant and although I tend to work with students who are lower functioning, the same sorts of techniques do help me when modified for my situation. For example, I might need to provide myself with visuals of a new airport. I know this sounds silly, but I have found the most awesome socks that have a very tight weave across the arch. It provides a slight sensation of pressure that helps to calm my overly sensitive proprioceptive system. And it gives me a framework for understanding why I was zoning out at my child's daycare the other day- recognizing that I'm not weird, I'm a person with a problem with noise and visual overstimulation. So I talked myself down and asked the daycare worker to give me a minute because it was too loud for me to concentrate. I'll do that in restaurants too. If several people are talking at once and then one tries to include me, I'll tell them I'm so easily distracted and could they please wait until it's calmer. Before I might have mentally shut down and just found an excuse to leave and then beat myself up over not being able to handle the situation.



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31 Jan 2009, 3:32 pm

cyberscan wrote:
Unless he is in dire need of services that require an official diagnosis, then I would recommend an unofficial diagnosis. When one receives an official diagnosis of Asperger's or autism, many doors will be closed to your son. People who admit to having Asperger's or autism are barred from joining the military and also may face discrimination when it comes to other employment.


It seems obvious to me why you wouldn't hand a automatic weapon or grenade to anyone with a mental, neurological or developmental disorder. As far as facing discrimination in employment as long as a person doesn't admit to the diagnosis the employer won't find out as long as that person isn't vocal in town or on the internet about their identity and AS diagnosis. (That's why people who bring up AS on their Facebook page or post their full name on WP are morons.)

However diagnosed or not it won't change their bad behaviors or awkwardness that cause many problems for Aspies at work. Even if you never get diagnosed it doesn't mean that you aren't screwing up things for yourself at work or with other people because of your Aspergers.